Newsroom 07 April 2021

Croydon Council gives low-code the thumbs up as it quickly delivers frontline services

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Croydon Council has chosen Netcall’s low-code platform as instrumental in delivering frontline digital resident services in order to meet their Digital Strategy.

Croydon Council recognise the need to redesign and digitise their core statutory service offering to residents. The tech they were using was outdated, restrictive and expensive to maintain. They needed to build, iterate fast and drive efficiency savings. Low-code was the perfect technology partner.

Croydon Council set out to improve online services so that residents, businesses and visitors can transact with them in a way that suits them, 24/7/365. In early 2020, as part of an ongoing Medium Term Financial Strategy (MFTS) programme, the council decided to bring forward the decommissioning of their CRM to radically improve online services.

In addition to the financial savings, the change was necessary as the underpinning software [Microsoft Dynamics] required updating to the latest software level. Adding new digital services was difficult and costly in developer resource. The user journey was falling behind what customers expect.

Croydon chose to replace it using Liberty Create, a low-code platform that enables you to quickly and easily build applications that automate and transform services, to improve customer experience.

Building upon a foundation of innovation

Croydon had been trialling the Liberty Create low-code platform since January 2020. Their team had only just completed their training when the pandemic hit, they decided to put the platform to the test. They needed to be able to spin up many critical applications quickly to manage the council, and provide assistance to vulnerable residents and local businesses. They started with delivering an app to pay out over £50million of government funds to local businesses in six weeks.

And it built from there. Over 9 months, Croydon built 10 apps for various critical services – from monitoring council performance, resourcing and prioritisation of services through to business grants, Test and Trace and Council tax recovery.

Using Liberty Create has enabled Croydon to:

  • Make time savings – in the first two weeks the team wrote standard capabilities which they can reuse over and over again. Examples such as single sign on, DNS routing, LLPG integration and PowerBI integration.
  • See operational efficiencies – the team managed to cope with COVID-19 in an automated efficient manner. The alternative would have been spreadsheets and MS Forms with manual workarounds / rekeying of information.
  • Reduced costs – Croydon gains flexibility in the team resources they can use, at a much lower cost and offer their teams more interesting work.
  • Share work with other councils and benefiting from their skills – being able to share and download pre-built apps from the AppShare saves days of time for the council.

Dave Briggs, Head of Digital Operations at Croydon Council, comments “We have achieved far more than we imagined we would over the last year and that is thanks to the low-code platform we had just implemented. We now have 15 people trained on the platform and over 600 users and that’s just with the proof of concept in place. Create has added value to the council from the word go. Netcall is investing in the AppShare and the Community so that councils are supported with their local government as a platform approach. Freeing up these resources is essential for our council to provide even better support to our community, given that time will not need to be spent on handling simple requests that can be dealt with through self-service.”

Mark Holmes, Chief Sales Officer at Netcall, says, “We are extremely proud to be supporting local authorities and their collaboration in developing better services for their communities, especially during difficult times. British councils are facing many challenges and it is encouraging for us to see how low-code solutions enable them to quickly respond to emergencies and support citizens in need, while also achieving great efficiencies. It’s exciting to see Croydon’s apps being shared via our Community with peers. It’s the way we want it to work. We’re keen to ensure that our platform allows all local digital teams to deliver solutions that will benefit citizens and staff alike.”

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